~my thoughts about life~

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Freaked Me Out

Last weekend, we were driving through a shopping area that is about a half hour from our house.  As we were nearing a steel bridge that we cross under frequently, something caught my eye.  A man was standing up on the railing at the end of the bridge.  A closer look revealed him to be a police officer.  He glanced behind him and frantically waved his hand, beckoning someone else to quickly come to him.  Right as we were starting to go under the bridge, I noticed a teenager sitting on the outside of the bridge, directly over our lane.  All of this happened in the blink of an eye, as we were driving 60 mph down the highway.  Still, I was able to see the pain and anguish in the body language of the individual.  I wasn't able to determine the gender of the teen but I feel like that half a second allowed me a glimpse deep into their soul.  They were sitting with their legs over to the side with their shoulders heavily slumped over.  They were looking down, possibly at the passing traffic underneath  I'm not aware if the person knew a cop was just a few feet away, ready to attempt some sort of rescue. 

As I began putting the pieces together, I could only wonder what would have happened if that person decided to jump right in front of my min-van hauling four children.  I told my husband it would have been something we would have never gotten over.

The bridge is not very tall, maybe about 20' from where the person was seated.  A fall would have only broken a couple bones, but no driver would have been able to avoid running right over the person and immediately ending their life.  Can you imagine?

Now, if you live in some big city in California, you might have see sights like this before in your lifetime.  But things like this don't happen here in Anytown, USA.  Ever since that afternoon, I have wondered what became of the distraught teen who couldn't find a reason to live.  Part of me wanted to turn around and return to the scene.  But I surely didn't want to be there if the worst happened.  So I made up my own ending.  Obviously, the teen did not want to jump or they would have already done so.  It must have been an attempt to gain attention in response to some difficult things in life.  Hopefully the authorities were able to talk the person down with no injuries.  If so, hopefully that person is now getting the help he or she needs.

Now that my internet is up sporadically, I think I'll go to that town's newspaper website to see if I can find out any more information.  I'm just thankful that today is not a day to find myself or any of my loved ones sitting on the railing of a bridge.  Someone else's day is always much worse.


k said...

Experiences/images like that stick with me for a looooong time.

Cory said...

That is sad. And there has been more news on stuff like that than I would care to hear out here in Cali. Why is that? More bridges? Harder economy? In the month of June it wasn't bridges people were jumping off of but 4 or more murder/suicides in our county. Parents killing the kids, then themselves. I can't believe it is a isolated Ca. thing, honestly. I have NEVER heard it happen like that before, and even with the bridge stuff I have probly only heard about 6 to 8 cases max since I have lived here for the last 20+ years. ;) I am the person who says a prayer for the passing ambulance though. I guess I just feel like that person is desperate RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT, and need a prayer. Hope the person you saw is ok too.

The Lovely One said...

So Sad. Yes, I live in Cali, and yes, I hear about things like this more often than I would life. I hope that teen on your bridge made it down safely and is now getting some help.

imagesisee.blogspot.com said...

I've always wondered what would make a person so sad and despondent that they'd want to end their life. I really think that God is the only One who can give the comfort needed to overcome those feelings.

On the other hand I often think, "there but for the grace of God go I".

Good that it wasn't more dramatic when you were there.

~she~ said...

I read that the 19-year old girl was talked down after 2 1/2 hours of negotiation! The ledge she was sitting on was only 2" wide! They apparently shut down the highway just moments after we passed through. The article did state that she was receiving treatment at a local hospital. I'm glad this story had a good ending...let's hope things stay that way for her. She's still in my thoughts.